From the Superintendent
By Gary Blaz
Since the last column I have been receiving questions concerning our upcoming dilemma. Again, itís very important that we hear from as many of our patrons as possible. The more thought and discussion we have on these issues will better our future.
Questions: 1. Why not simply keep things as they are and add to the supplemental levy each year?  This would be an easy fix if the support of our patrons could be depended upon. With the current economic situation that our state is in right now, I donít think we can depend on any thing being consistent economically. Furthermore, we are going to start witnessing portions of our buildings being less and less occupied with a declining enrollment. Each year from here on we will be seeing at least one less classroom being needed per year. With the continual maintenance and upkeep these are not responsible solutions on our part.
2. Instead of adding on to the high school to house the 7th and 8th grades, build at the middle school to house Kindergarten through 8th grades?  
We will be researching this concept further. Our preliminary conclusions indicate that we will not have enough room at the middle school. Our goal is to also streamline our staff to meet the state standards especially in our classified ranks and administrative ranks. This concept may not allow us to make those cuts to reach our budget constraints. What ever our decision is, it has to make our future budget and daily operational expenditures less than what we are working with now.
3. If we combine K-6 and 7-12th, how can we assure that the older students will be secluded from the younger students?
I truly believe that we will never be able to isolate younger and older students to 100%.
But, if we make adjustments to our buildings and add on appropriately we can get very close to that percent. I think if one were to walk through our high school and our middle school they would be able to see the vastness of each building to agree that with the proper supervision that this could be done. There are many schools in our area that house students in a wide variety of ways that seem to be successful in this task.
4. What happens to the school that is closed?
We can not simply close doors to a building and walk away. The building will still need to be heated during heating times and minor maintenance will still be needed. It could be sold or leased to any interested party. The grade school does provide for some interesting economic growth with the church and the hospital close by. Any funding garnered from the closure would be utilized for future decisions with facilities.
One must consider why we are in the situation. The state is funding schools at a certain set of standards. For X amount of students, we receive X amount of funds. When our student enrollment declines we must tighten our belts somehow. This ďAction PlanĒ will do just that.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522
 

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COTTONWOOD
CHRONICLE
503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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